With more than 200,000 residents and a couple million tourists each year, Beaufort and Jasper counties are no longer the sleepy paradise of years past. 

But with growth comes issues: Development in both counties; the Hilton Head bridge replacement; Hardeeville’s rapid growth; school crowding and quality; business development; traffic; workforce housing; beach preservation; and others.

Sept. 11, 2001, will always be with me. The horrific images, the panicked phone calls, the uncertainty. The feeling of helplessness. 

Twenty years ago this month, terrorists attacked the United States. The attack at the World Trade Center led to the deaths of 2,606 people.

Overall, 2,997 people died, including 125 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and 40 who were on Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.

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There has always been a buzz surrounding the beginning of the school year.

As a child I remember getting a list of school supplies, heading to the store and picking out an outfit for the first day of school — an important piece of the back-to-school planning for a little girl.   

These are things I still enjoy doing with my own kids.   

The summer I turned 5, our nation turned 200 years old. I clearly remember that my small town painted all the fire hydrants red, white and blue and the route of our annual Fourth of July parade was ablaze with flags and bunting. 

I was too young to know exactly what a bicentennial was, but I did know the United States was having a birthday and we were celebrating it. I’m pretty sure that summer was the year I learned the words to Yankee Doodle Dandy.

~THE MINDSET LIST~

This year’s senior class has grown up in a world much different than the one most of us grew up in. From the effects of 9/11 to a global pandemic, the graduating class of college students has experienced significant world events. With the help of a few items culled from Beloit College and Marist College annual mindset lists, here are some key issues that have shaped their world views.

Every four years the National Intelligence Council publishes its Global Trends outlook for the newly elected U.S. government, a document that is available to the public.

A myriad of data, along with interviews with a diversified group of people around the globe, are being analyzed to update the structural factors:

April this time last year marked the pandemic raging on our shores, when we went into full lockdown. Remembering its anniversary, I’m sending this letter back in time to anyone who wishes to read it.

Brace yourself. The whispers of a global pandemic have become sirens. But not the Odyssean kind. 

CRUCIAL TO COMBATING MISINFORMATION

If you read any news story about “fake news” in the past four years, you then came across the phrase “media literacy” and the calls for it to be included in public education. 

For more than 20 years, I have been teaching media literacy (as an education consultant), but it wasn’t until former President Trump declared the news media as fake that people started paying attention. 

Quarantine-weary amid a pandemic raging outside, millions of Americans curled up in their pajamas last November to watch “The Queen’s Gambit,” a Netflix miniseries that took the airwaves by storm. 

Fiercely feminine in her 1960s style and radically independent, we watched Beth Harmon’s obsessive talent for chess pull her from a Kentucky orphanage to the hushed halls of the greatest tournament of her time, battling drug addiction along the way.

TO DEFEND AGAINST EMERGING THREATS

When we decided to move permanently from Switzerland to the U.S. in 1991, I viewed the country as one of the safest places on earth. It produced enough food to feed its population without having to rely on imports and it had a superior military power to dwarf any attacks from adversaries. 

Three decades later my view has been altered, and I’m concerned about three different type of threats, none of which can be countered with conventional defense capabilities.